3 Days on White Pass
#1
Three friends and I took our 6 goats up to the East side of White pass for 3 days and it was great!!!  Do to work schedules we missed archery elk but archery deer and bear season where still open.  We also brought fishing gear.  The hike up to camp was only 4 miles  with about 1000ft of gain.  My 3 boys killed it.  I had them all loaded at 20-22%.  I think that is there sweet spot.  They all kept up and seemed to enjoybthem selves.  One of my friends had his two goats a Alpine/Ober and a Ober.  They did not do so hot.  We ended up taking gear of the Alpine/ ober cross and puting its gear on another goat.  It was kind of a Gong Show.  Once we all got to camp it was fine.  Of course in true WA style it was raining and cold, but we got tarps up for the goats and us and it was fine.  


Food was awesome.  Pack goats allow us eat like kings.  The first night we had dutch oven baked pork tenderloin, corn on the cob and fresh baked roles, the second night we had Chicken/beef sir fly with tons of veggies.  Both meals turned out really good, but it is also pretty hard to mess up dutch oven cooking on a nice bed of fresh coals.  Breakfasts where just as good.  One morning we did sausage, pancakes with fresh picked huckleberries and eggs.  The next morning we made a huge egg scramble with the left over stir fry meat and veggies as well as the rest of the roles.  I think we went through a pound and a half of coffee in our perk coffe make.  Camp cire coffee is the best.

The weather was wet the first day and night.  The second day was clearish and very cold.  The 3rd day was perfect in the 70's and sunny.  All of us (goats included) spent the late morning laying in the sun relaxing!  It was a great last morning.  

We camped on a small lake.  There are so many lakes in that white pass area.  Everyday after breakfast we would pack up our fishing gear and head out to a new lake or two.  The fishing was way better than the reports we read.  Nice health trout in the 12"-16" range.  As a group we probably caught 3 or so.  We only ate 3 and man did they task great!!!  One of the funnist parts of fishing was just watching the goats chilling out and roaming around in a big herd.  They did so good just walking around between us all eating and fighting.  So cool.  

The hunting was not very good.  I did get into a herd of elk with Steve one morning which was very cool.  We did not see any deer, but did see some beer sign.  I did 2 mornings and a evening of predator calling but did not bring anything in.  It is all good with me, 95% of hunting is just being out there.  It was my first time hunting we ith a trailing goat, it seemed to not really matter.  The elk saw steam and just kinda ignored him. 

Camp life was fine.  We left the goats loose in camp, they did really well at that also.  It only took a few warnings for them to stay out of our small seating/ cooking area.  I still let Steve come in but he is more of a person that a goat anyway!

All in all it was a great trip!!  The group of guys could not have been better.  The menu was rediculas.  My goats could not have done better.  All the hours of just walking around and mini trips 100% paid of.  They are truelly amazing and loyal animals.  It was one of the guys first camping trip as well as first time he had been fishing and he cant wait to go back out again.  Another great goat trip in the book!!!


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#2
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#3
I'd like to go up the mountain and do a fall-leaves hike. We've got our first cold snap coming in and it may be very nice next week. I do worry about goats in the woods with all the hunters around though. Its a conundrum!

Looks like a great camping trip. I'm surprised that the alpine-ober didn't work out that great. Generally that'd be a decent pack goat. It seems like some are just not cut out for it, but it could also be some issue with the saddle or an ache somewhere. Even my females will pack if I feel like adjusting-down the saddles for them.
I don't drink beer, but if I did, I'd prefer Dos Equis.  Stay thirsty my friends!
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#4
Awesome trip! Sounds like your goats did an amazing job! Looking at your friends two goats, I think the problem is most likely with the saddles he's using. On the one at least, he is using one of the "custom fit" saddles from Northwest, and while I love the concept and the fact that Rex was trying something new, I don't think it fits properly on any goat. Change the saddle first and see if the goats improve. Also look at their feet. Sometimes they need a trim, or they haven't been trimmed properly. I'm starting to think, as I get more experienced with packgoats, that when one won't work it's most likely because of a physical problem rather than an attitude problem. Hopefully he can figure it out and get it fixed because it's frustrating to have a goat that can't/won't work for you.
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#5
(10-05-2018, 09:01 AM)Charlie Horse Wrote: I'd like to go up the mountain and do a fall-leaves hike.  We've got our first cold snap coming in and it may be very nice next week.  I do worry about goats in the woods with all the hunters around though.  Its a conundrum!

Looks like a great camping trip.  I'm surprised that the alpine-ober didn't work out that great.  Generally that'd be a decent pack goat.  It seems like some are just not cut out for it, but it could also be some issue with the saddle or an ache somewhere.  Even my females will pack if I feel like adjusting-down the saddles for them.

Charlie Horse,
I was a little worried about hunters also.  I am a hunter and I support hunting but every group has the 10% that are Knuckle Heads.  So to protect then from the 10% I bought some blaze orange vet wrap and blaze orange duct tape.  I wrapped each goats horns with about 8" of the orange wrap then put some tape on for extra staying power.  Also if we left camp my guys had there saddles on, which almost cover the sweet spot to shoot them in.  So in my mind if your hunting and you see one of my goats you will see the tape on there horns if you where trying s head shot,  and if all you can see is there body and wanted to try for a double lung or heart there is a saddle almost over there vitals.  I felt very confident in my guys safety!!!
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#6
(10-05-2018, 09:09 PM)Mike Wrote: Ya, I wish it where a simple fix like the saddles or a hoof trim.  Its alot of things with his goats.  Bad diet, little pack training, no exposure to long walk with elevation change, no experiance on trail, they never got wade before the trip so who nose what % they where carrying, no minerals or suppliments.  Just bad all around.  One of the other guys dragger the ober about miles to camp, the alpine mix who's gear we had to take off I hooked the Garbie and had Garbie get him to camp.  It was s challenge for sure.  I had a hard time not loosing my mind.  I had a feeling this was going to happen before we left.  I am really hoping that this trip will get things going for him and his guys.

Nanno, I agree with you about those custom fit saddles.  I tried the one I had on all 4 of my guys in all its configuration.  It never looked right or comfertable.  I like tge traditional wood cross buck.

If you have Swiss-bred goats it's hard to go too far wrong with traditional wooden crossbucks. 

It's too bad your friend's goats have so many gaps in their care. An animal can't work properly if it's unhealthy, unfit, or untrained, and it's not fair even to ask it to work under those conditions. I hope your friend picked up some valuable knowledge during his time with you.
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#7
(10-05-2018, 09:09 PM)Mike Wrote: Ya, I wish it where a simple fix like the saddles or a hoof trim.  Its alot of things with his goats.  Bad diet, little pack training, no exposure to long walk with elevation change, no experiance on trail, they never got wade before the trip so who nose what % they where carrying, no minerals or suppliments.  Just bad all around.  One of the other guys dragger the ober about miles to camp, the alpine mix who's gear we had to take off I hooked the Garbie and had Garbie get him to camp.  It was s challenge for sure.  I had a hard time not loosing my mind.  I had a feeling this was going to happen before we left.  I am really hoping that this trip will get things going for him and his guys.

Nanno, I agree with you about those custom fit saddles.  I tried the one I had on all 4 of my guys in all its configuration.  It never looked right or comfertable.  I like tge traditional wood cross buck.
Hi Mike,

I feel sad.  It's really too bad when someone takes goats out packing when the goats aren't ready for it.  As you said there are probably a lot of factors.  My guess would be that lack of conditioning was likely the biggest problem.

Anyway, it sounds like once you got to camp, things went pretty well. 

And it sounds like overall goat packing had been going quite well for you.
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#8
Perry,
Ya his goats just where not in it.  zThey where not going to lay down,just the 4 foot lock up.  As you said camp life was fine.

You where also right about my guys.  They have turned from Craigslist and unwanted goats into a trained string of strong  dog bunting pack goats!!!  I love it.  Next years goal is to increase our range from about 4.5miles with 20%- 25% load to hopefully 6-7 miles with a solid 25% each.  I just have to get on the physical training.
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#9
If you'd like to do more miles, I'd suggest focusing on that first, keep the loads light; then when they are comfortable doing the miles, try upping the weight.  Anyway, just a suggestion based on my experience.
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#10
Great thanks!
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